Minted Poached Pears (Pere Cotte alla Menta) Recipe
This recipe was adapted from Nancy Radke's cookbook, The Seasons of Parmigiano-Reggiano (1998, Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano)
2 cups of water
2 cups of Red Wine
1 cup of superfine sugar
3 4'' sprigs of fresh mint - or 1 1/2 tsp of dried mint
6 firm Pears with stems
6 Ounces of Parmigiano-Reggiano - cut into large nuggets
6 Sprigs fresh mint for garnish
In a saucepan, combine water, wine and sugar.
Bring mixture to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Cut lemon peel into long strips, free the bitter white pith.
Juice the peeled lemons. Add peel, juice and mint to wine mixture. Remove from heat.
Leaving stem attached, peel each pear. Cut a thin slice off each pear bottom and quickly, to avoid disscoloration, stand pears upright in wine mixture. Return to medium high heat and bring to a gentle simmer.Adjust heat so liquid does not boil. Cook pears 15-30 minutes, depending on ripeness.Test regularly with a skewer.When tender throughout, pears are done.Allow pears to cool in poaching liquid for 30 min.
Remove pears and strain poaching liquid into a small saucepan.Bring to boil and cook 15-20 min, until it coats a spoon in a light sticky syrup.If desired, cool syrup and rewarm as desired.
To serve. spoon or brush a small puddle of warm syrup onto each plate. Place a pear in the center, and arrange several nuggets of parmigiano reggiano next to it.Garnish with mint sprigs and serve immediately